Shelter and Settlements in Disasters – University of Copenhagen

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Shelter and Settlements in Disasters

A blended learning course - six weeks online and two weeks in Copenhagen!

The number and complexity of disasters is growing significantly. Governments and international organizations, therefore, make great effort to increase their technical, financial and organizational preparedness for addressing disasters in a predictable, timely and efficiently manner. Reducing risk and vulnerabilities as well as adapting to climate change is part of these efforts.

While the needs for disaster response are on the increase, they also vary considerable from place to place. The international humanitarian system established in 2005 the new “Cluster System” with a view to make the response system more effective and timely. Within this system, international organizations, hand in hand with national authorities and NGOs, plan and coordinate today’s response operations. Meeting shelter and settlements needs in disasters has become a high priority, not only for the lead organizations IFRC and UNHCR, but for all agencies and NGOs. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for qualified shelter and settlements practitioners that are equipped to meet the challenges from relief to reconstruction and recovery.

This flexible course combines part-time online learning with two weeks of full-time studies at the University of Copenhagen’s city campus in central Copenhagen.

The course will enable students to work with these shelter mandated international and national organizations in both natural disasters and complex emergencies (conflicts). They will acquire knowledge, tools and critical analytical skill to address shelter in disasters from relief to recovery.

Students will study various types of shelter solutions and how they are applied in both natural disasters and in conflict situations. They will learn how effectively to plan and coordinate shelter needs assessments, develop strategies and implement plans with international organizations, national authorities, the displaced and the affected population.

Application deadline is 1 February 2018 - APPLY ONLINE NOW! 

Institution:

School of Global Health, University of Copenhagen
The course takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark

Course coordinators:

Associate Professor Peter Furu  
Guest Lecturer Gert Lüdeking

Type:

This is an optional advanced course in the Master of Disaster Management programme.

Duration:

27 March - 19 May 2017.
24 April - 5 May 2017 in Copenhagen.
Combining six weeks of online learning with two weeks in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

ECTS credits:

5 ECTS

Language:

English

Learning Outcome

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

Knowledge

  • Have adequate knowledge of the humanitarian response system, the role and functioning of the shelter cluster and the various shelter and settlements typologies, tools, standards and approaches
  • Have acquired strategic and practical knowledge of shelter and settlements policies, methods, tools and procedures in the humanitarian response system and will be prepared to practice these in a sustainable manner from relief to recovery.  

Skills

  • Identify key shelter and settlements challenges and opportunities, apply relevant shelter assessment methods and prepare sustainable shelter and settlements strategies relevant to specific intervention phases.  

Competence

  • Demonstrate a strategic and practical knowledge of shelter and settlements policies, methods, tools and procedures in the humanitarian response system and  practice these in a sustainable manner from relief to recovery.

Content:

The course is designed to teach students strategies, methods and guidelines promoting sustainability in the shelter response from relief to recovery and reconstruction. Students will be prepared to address shelter and settlements challenges in accordance with local needs and build on local resources. It is an important feature of the course to teach students to integrate risk and vulnerability reduction strategies in recovery programming. The students will learn to consider local building technologies and materials as part of "building-back-better" strategies. The course embraces the common phases of the emergency cycle, emergency shelter, transition shelter, early recovery, and reconstruction.

Component 1:

Distance learning for 4 weeks.

  • The international humanitarian response system - organization, tools and how it responds to shelter and settlements needs in natural disasters and complex emergencies.
  • At the end of Component 1, students have solid knowledge of the humanitarian response system, the role and functioning of the shelter cluster and the various shelter and settlements typologies, tools, standards and approaches

Component 2:

Face-to face campus learning for 2 weeks.

  • Applying the theory - assessments, challenges and preparing for shelter and settlements interventions.
  • At the end of Component 2, students can identify key shelter and settlements challenges and opportunities, apply relevant shelter assessment methods and prepare sustainable shelter and settlements strategies relevant to specific intervention phases. 

Component 3:

Distance learning for 2 weeks.

  • Final paper - Programming shelter and settlements interventions.

Methods:

The methodology of the three course components combines e-learning (Absalon system) with face-to-face campus learning. The course includes an initial four-week knowledge building phase followed by two weeks campus lecturing, group discussions, workshops and written assignments. This phase will incorporate visiting practitioners invited to share their knowledge and real-time experiences during lectures and discussions. The final two weeks e-learning is focused on a written assignment as the final thesis.

Some information about online learning During the online weeks you will only meet and interact with your teachers and fellow students in the University of Copenhagen's online learning platform.

A typical E-module is composed of:

An introduction to the topic An overview of the purpose, the subjects and the intended learning outcome A short study guide Learning resources (which can be text, audio and/or video files) Several exercises called E-lessons. The E-lessons are online learning activities which can be questionnaires, assignments or online discussions. The roles of the teachers are to assist student learning by serving as E-moderators for the various E-lessons.

Some information about online learning

The online parts of the course are structured around internet based E-learning modules (E-modules) with weekly deadlines. This means that you as a student can follow the course from anywhere in the world at the time that suits you best. All you need is an internet connection. During the online weeks you will only meet and interact with your teachers and fellow students in the University of Copenhagen's online learning platform.

A typical E-module is composed of:

  1. An introduction to the topic 
  2. An overview of the purpose, the subjects and the intended learning outcome
  3. A short study guide 
  4. Learning resources (which can be text, audio and/or video files)
  5. Several exercises called E-lessons.

The E-lessons are online learning activities which can be questionnaires, assignments or online discussions. The roles of the teachers are to assist student learning by serving as E-moderators for the various E-lessons.

The online course room and teaching techniques is inspired by the successful model for distance learning, which has been developed by the IT learning Center (ITLC) at the University of Copenhagen. This model creates learning context which allows the students to collaborate and participate actively in discussions of different learning topics with both fellow students and the lecturers on the course.

Prerequisites:

The applicants must live up to the Master of Disaster Management admission criteria.

Class size:

The number of participants is limited to 40. The course may be cancelled if there are too few participants.

Fees:

Reduced fee: DKK 10,200
For students from EU/EEA or Switzerland.

Normal fee: DKK 15,000
For all other students.

For approximate exchange rates between DKK (Danish Krone) and other currencies please contact your bank or visit this website. All fees are subject to regulation.

Scholarships:

We do not offer any scholarships, nor can we assist in finding funding, but on our page about scholarships we have collected some information that might be useful.